Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Perfect Mommy Day

I did end up staying home all day yesterday with James. It was a lovely day. James was happy, he ate everything I put in front of him, and he napped well. I was the happiest about that last one- being able to put him down for his naps without any fuss is much improved! We even managed to get a walk into our day. It was a pretty short walk because it was fairly humid and sticky, but we made it back to the swings. James loves the swings! He laughed a lot and was full of smiles.

It was an encouraging day. It hasn't been too often that I'm at home all day, and alone. I can see that we'll have lots of fun this summer, maybe even running around to the library too or the Early Childhood classes that I'd like to sign up for. I'm sure the summer will go by too fast.

I also took James to a Cultural Celebration at another school last night. I'm expected to help with a Celebration at my own school next year so I wanted to check out the other school's version of it. James was a little overwhelmed by all of the people and noise, but he became curious after a while. He cried a lot in the car but I think because it was raining hard (new to him?) and because he was overtired. He didn't have much of an afternoon nap.

So, overall, I had a good day with James. He's getting to be so much fun :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

James has a girlfriend!

Haha. James is really into the Baby Einstein video that I checked out from the local library and whenever this little girl comes on to the screen, he lights up! Seriously- huge smiles and giggles. She is an older woman- probably 5 yrs old, a blonde cutie.

He likes the video so much I just bought a copy from ebay this morning.

I'm home this morning because my friend Elizabeth and her son Alex had to go to the doctor for a follow-up appointment. I plan on taking the morning off but because James just went down for a nap, I may just stay home for the whole day. We'll see!

James is doing really, really well at Elizabeth and Alex's house. Alex and James are playing well together, even sharing their toys. Elizabeth has said a few times that James is a great baby, pretty quiet and well-behaved always. He is a great eater, loves to be outside, and is napping pretty well- even in a strange playpen. I'm so glad James is responding well to other people. I was so worried for a while that he wasn't going to let anyone else hold him!

The only thing that had been stressing me out is the naptime situation. I wasn't able to put James down for naps until Jim showed me his method. I now rock James to sleep, holding him upright, and singing to him. It works! Within a few minutes he's out. I'm so glad because I felt like a terrible Mom who couldn't do it right.

James tried a new food today and loved it! He had cantaloupe and strawberry puree with rice cereal. I had been having trouble getting him to eat his solids but not today! I think he just doesn't like pumpkin, which is the food I had been concentrating on for the last few days. I guess he has a sweet tooth!!

Countdown to summer: only 6 more school days left!

I think May has been a good picture month. I just realized there are almost 100 pictures just from this month in the Baby Album "May"! Obviously we're having lots of fun with James lately. His personality is really shining through lately and he's such a sweet baby. His fussiness has decreased now that he can keep himself busy with his toys- and what cool toys he has! He has musical instruments, Legos, his Jumperoo, and his baby Firetruck.

Hope you're having a good week too!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Weekend, so far

On Friday I picked up James a little early because Jim told me his whole office was being let go early for the Memorial weekend. I thought it would be nice if we all could be home early and go for a walk. We also ended up ordering Chinese/Thai food :)

So that night we met our new(er) neighbors, Jeff and Wendy and their 11 month old boy and girl twins, Sawyer and Bailey. They live on the other street, Petersburg. The twins were in a kiddie pool (with no water), playing on the lawn with their Mom. They were all really nice. Wendy brought over Bailey to James' stroller, and the two babies had fun staring at each other. It was really cute :) They are both not too much bigger than James, but of course a lot more mobile. They were pulling themselves up and crawling like crazy. I can't imagine twins at that age!

Wendy told us that that a couple of houses near us have newborns/babies. The couple that just moved in this week have a baby the same age as James. James will have so many friends!

So then we walked further to the park, where we met a man named Steve and his two little girls. They also live in our neighborhood, but in another area of houses.

When we finished our walk and came into our driveway, we noticed that the neighbors across the street had their little boy Spencer outside on the grass. I carried James over to their house to introduce the babies to each other. We've talked to this family before, but Spencer was always napping or not outside. Spencer is almost a year and not much taller than James, but definitely chunkier! He is quite massive. His Mom joked that he will be a football player. She also said he's pretty "pokey" and not really advancing with his crawling, walking, or teeth. He only has two, just like James! I'm probably just a proud Momma but James was much more alert and active than Spencer :)

So we've been busy checking out the other families and babies in the neighborhood. I'm glad to meet the others, I hope our neighborhood will be active this summer when I'm home.

Today is Sunday and yesterday I had my "Mom's day off". I had a late start so I didn't really do much before I came home for dinner. I made it to the mall, to my sister Ana's to feed Maya (they're out of town), and then to Target. Target was fun because I browsed for almost two hours. I came home with lots of stuff I don't need!

Today Jim went to the grocery store, all of us went to Sam's Club, and then we had lunch followed by a long walk. We knew James would fall asleep so we hoped it would be a long, quality nap for him. Before he fell asleep we made it to the park and he had a great time on the swings! We snapped a few pictures of him on the baby swing. The neighbor said she puts her twins on the swing, one facing each way. James was pretty small on it, but he was safe. Of course we wouldn't let anything happen to him :)

So we've pretty much stuck to home and its been a good day. Jim worked in the yard and on the grass, and I made cookies while watching James. We also sorted through all of his baby clothes and put away his small stuff. A lot of my favorite clothes on James are too small! We came across all of his knitted hats from Tia Ana, hopefully they'll fit again next winter. I've put them in his chest.

Tomorrow's plans: not much! Just hanging around some more :)

See the new pictures in album "May" and the video from the park- too cute!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

1st Day with Elizabeth

I dropped James off this morning at Elizabeth's house for his first day of temporary daycare! He was in a great mood this morning and when I left he was smiling at Elizabeth and Baby Alex. I hope they have a good day... I'm more worried about Elizabeth's workload and whether she'll be able to get James down for a nap. I hope all goes well!

Other James news: he's scooting around and turning himself in circles! Last night I had James on a blanket, and on his tummy, and he would move his chest/shoulders to one side and then scoot the rest of his body over, turning direction on his tummy. I would guess this is a good step towards learning to crawl!

Nothing else is really happening. The daycare thing is the biggest thing going on in our lives. I'm trying not to stress about getting up too early and being (over)prepared and organized. I just really hope this works out well.

Another dilemma: My supervisor is saying that we are supposed to work the week of June 11th. He said we were given days off throughout the year (normal teacher duty days, non-student days) with the expectation of working the week of June 11th. I don't recall this conversation! And we have no arrangements for that week. I'm really going to have to figure this out, fast. I'm sure my co-workers are fighting this too- no one wants to work longer!

9 days of school left- and then I can be home with Baby James!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's a Boy!

While in the bath last night, James discovered his penis. I had just told Jim the other day that I read that at this age boys will discover themselves and pull at themselves. And then he did last night! It was pretty funny. He tugged and then it was over. (I'm sure James will enjoy reading this when he's 16!)

So I don't know what did it but James FINALLY slept through the night again! There were a couple of things different- was it the bath right before bed? the warm footed pajamas? the very short afternoon nap?

The last couple of days (since Grandma left) James has been teething and fussy. One night it was pretty bad, with Jim and I having to take turns holding him and trying every trick we know. I know Grandma would say its because James is missing her, but seriously- it hasn't been pretty! I hope those teeth pop out soon!

Grandpa Roger called yesterday and asked if he could come by for a visit. He brought over steaks, bread, and dessert. Uncle Joe & Aunt Kathy couldn't make it so he suggested we call Grandma Laura. Grandma Laura was able to come over for the last minute dinner and visit. There are a couple of pictures of Grandpa Roger and James in the Baby Album "May".

It was funny because Grandpa Roger saw the camera sitting on the living room ottoman, and he asked "Do you take many pictures?" Jim laughed! He said that I take pictures all the time. Yes, James is a well-recorded baby :)

So there are some cute pictures from the weekend. I really liked the Naked Baby pictures that I took on Saturday. James was a little fussy so I stripped him down to his diaper and he seemed to have fun with that. Every picture turned out really cute so I included most of them in the album.

I don't think James got a lot of sun this weekend but he is really looking brown! Jim did a comparison of his own leg and then James' and James is definitely a brown baby! He is much darker than his Daddy! James definitely has my coloring- skin, hair, and eyes.

James will have an eventful week. Jim is working from home Monday-Wednesday, and then on Thursday and Friday James will go over to my friend Elizabeth's house for daycare. We went over to Elizabeth, Drew, and Baby Alex's house on Friday night for a visit and to figure out the plan. It was a good visit- the babies didn't notice each other too much. Alex is 21 months old and very active. I'm sure James will learn a lot from him.

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bye Grandma!

We are now without Tia Kristina and Grandma Rosie. What's a Baby James to do?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grandma Rosie

Grandma Rosie is having so much fun with James! I came home and she expressed her disappointment that James naps for too long and she didn't have enough time to play with him! I had to laugh because some days *I* wish he would nap longer! She is coming to us with a new enthusiasm, much like Tia Kristina, and is so thrilled to spend every minute possible with Baby James.

Yesterday Grandma Rosie and James practiced crawling, had a feast of zucchini and sweet potatoes (baby food), went for a walk- where James tried the swing for the first time, on Grandma's lap! And James played with his legos again. He is such a good baby! Grandma Rosie kept saying that :) It sounded like a perfect day for the both of them.

Today, Tia Ana is stopping by the house while she's in the area for her work. She must have a deposition or a meeting with a client for her law firm. I'm sure they'll have a nice visit! Grandma Rosie was going to prepare for the visit by giving James a bath today.

Again, much like Tia Kristina, Grandma Rosie is doing everything possible to make our lives easier. She is up and awake early to help with James, making it possible for Jim and I to get ready for work and leave on time. I just don't know how we'll manage when Grandma leaves and I have to get James up early and take him to Elizabeth's house! I'm not a morning person so I'm not looking forward to a change in our routine. Its just for a short time (about 9 days total), and just until the end of the school year, so I know we'll make it through just fine! What a relief to have all of our family and friend(s) supporting us and helping us with coverage until I can be home! I can't wait for the summer! I'm sure Grandma will continue with Tia Kristina's efforts to teach James to crawl, and he'll keep me VERY busy! I'll love it :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day weekend

I had a really great first Mother's Day! We had the (local) grandmothers over for breakfast and took some pictures. (Please see the pictures in Baby Album "Mother's Day".) I received two great cards from Jim and Baby James- James even signed his! Jim and Grandma Rosie helped James hold a pen and sign the card :) I received a beauty day from my two men- a day for me to get "even prettier" by getting my hair done (cut and highlighted) and a manicure/pedicure.

Tia Kristina left us on Saturday and I know James is missing her. I found the song that she likes to sing, Los Elefantes, on iTunes so I downloaded it to my ipod. The song is a poor replacement for Kristina's singing, but James might like it.

Grandma Rosie is staying with us this week and helping to take care of James. She is already hard at work. She was faster than me getting up this morning and she already had James diapered and ready for the day. Grandma insists that its not "work" but we'll see at the end of the week! It is hard work keeping James entertained and happy- especially with his teething!

Last night we brought out the Baby Legos to introduce to James. He loved them! We had forgotten that we had them in the closet, saving them for when he was older. Jim brought them downstairs and James had a great time chewing on them and touching them. No building yet, but I'm sure that will be soon!

Please see the last journal entry for James' letter to his Tia.

Please see the Baby Albums "May" and "Mother's Day" for the latest pictures.

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

From James to Tia Kiki

Dear Tia Kiki (Kristina),
My Mommy is writing this for me because I can't type yet. I'm just learning my letters.

I wanted to thank you for the best time ever! I'll have lots of fun memories:

Remember when...

you sang me the elefante song?

you offered my Mommy the "2 for 1" deal?

you would greet me with "Good morning, Handsome!"?

you grabbed my chubby thighs and called them porkchops?

and then you grabbed my tummy and called it applesauce?

you played the butt drums?

you sang the Baby Croki songs to me?

you helped me with my sore gums and "toofers" (teeth)?

you tickled me and made me scream with laughter?

you introduced me to my first cats?

you took me shopping and bought me my Polo outfit and drum?

you taught me how to roll over and crawl (still trying this, Tia!)?

And there's probably lots of other things that my Mommy can't remember!

Well, I will miss you. I know you'll always be there for me and loving me from wherever you are. I hope you come to visit me whenever you can and I'll be waiting with many, many kisses!

Oh, Tia, get on my Mommy to send you a video soon. I know you'll want to see me crawling and take credit! And those top teeth are going to pop out any day now!

Te amo, Tia Kiki!
James "Handsome" Landon Tauer

Friday, May 11, 2007

First word!

Yesterday at James' 6 month doctor's appointment, he said his first word. It was so weird because it was plain as can be, and in front of Jim, myself, and the nurse. It was just a very faint, very cute "Hi". The nurse did a double take and said, Was that him?! And Jim thought it was ME. But it was James! I'm sure it was just baby babble but we all joked that he is advanced and talking already.

So at the doctor's appointment, James weighed in at 18 lbs 14 ozs. Very healthy. He may have lost some weight over the last few months, but this is still a gain from his 4 month appointment. It makes him in the 75th percentile for weight. He is now 27 1/4 inches- 75th percentile too.

Dr. Kuku said he looks very healthy and seems to be right on target for all of his developmental milestones (rolling, attempts to crawl, teeth). She did notice that his upper gums are very swollen, probably meaning that his front top teeth are coming in very soon!

Dr. Kuku gave the okay to start James on MORE solids, up to three meals per day. And to stop nighttime bottles. A couple of ounces of water or a pacifier is all he needs. Jim tried this last night but not with any success. He did end up giving James a bottle because he thinks his stomach was rumbling! Maybe we'll slowly start the water or no bottle at all.

Grandma Rosie arrived yesterday, to spend the weekend with us (and my sisters). She's staying for all of next week too, to help with James! I'm sure James is really excited about this! But we are saying goodbye to Tia Kristina, who leaves on Saturday. We won't think about that yet :(

Mother's Day is coming up! We have Grandma Rose and Grandma Laura invited for breakfast. I hope to take lots of pictures and video!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Six months old!

James is 6 months old today! Happy Half Birthday! We had a pretty busy weekend and we're exhausted. On Saturday, Jim had a full day of Daddy duty. I had a school event from the early morning until 4:30. It was a full work day on the Cinco de Mayo! I ended up missing both fiestas that night because I was exhausted and James was a crabby baby. The timing wouldn't have worked. By the time we got to a party, it would have been time for him to go down for the night. I know that everyone had a margarita or two for me :)

On Sunday I went to my friend Katy's baby shower. She'll soon get the notice to go to Columbia to pick up her precious daughter. James will have a new playmate!

Back to James: James is a very healthy and happy 6 month old. His Tia Kristina is still here loving him every day while we're at work. We've been so lucky to have someone so GREAT with James. He is one lucky little boy to have a Tia who loves him so much and loves to play. I need to give her a big shout-out: Kristina, we love you! We can't thank you enough for all that you've done for our family. I know its not babysitting when its your own nephew, but you've helped us so much and we'll never forget it. (But no two for one!) We'll miss you when you leave us.

Tia Kristina has been trying to get James to crawl before she leaves :) She's got one more week to make this happen! He's rolling from his back to his stomach with no problems, but he's forgotten how to roll from his stomach to his back. He's making small movements like he's trying to move ahead, or scoot forward, but he's not quite there. Soon!

At 6 months James is eating well. He's tried carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, apples, pears, mangos, bananas, rice cereal, and oatmeal. Next up: apricots! I'm still making my own baby food at home.

James is still waking up sometimes once, twice, or even three times in a night. Just recently he's been able to go back to sleep after a diaper change, or a pacifer. He doesn't need a bottle at every wake-up anymore. Sometimes he's crying because he's flipped himself over on to his stomach. He's sleeping on his stomach sometimes. I was a little scared about this but he's doing well- he moves his head to the side well or lets us know when he's uncomfortable!

Jim and I are just so happy with our little man, James. We look at him with so much awe! He is an amazing little boy! I can't wait until this summer when I'm with him every day.

Please see the new photos in Baby Albums "April", "May", and "Six months old!!"

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Active baby

James was pretty active last night, waking up 3 times! I've learned that each time he wakes up, he's not really demanding a bottle.

At 1am I woke up to soothe him back to sleep. I changed his diaper, gave him his pacifier (he chews on it, not sucks), and turned on the music from his Baby Tad frog. The music plays for 6 minutes and usually that is enough time for him to drift off. Last night I laid down on his floor, out of his sight, waiting to see if he'd fall asleep. I then screwed up by moving the frog away from him and trying to turn him from his side to his back. He woke up. I then had to repeat the process with the music.

At 3:30 am Jim woke up with James and gave him a bottle. This was probably a good time for a bottle because it had been 8 hours since his last.

At 5am he woke up and I did the Baby Tad music again and the pacifier.

James woke up at 7:15am for the day! I dressed him in a cute shorts outfit from Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie. I can't believe this little boy is fitting into the 18 months clothing! I thought it would be too big but it fits!

I can't wait to see what the doctor says next week. I think we have a big boy on our hands :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Good news!

The good news is that I am NOT diabetic. I received my test results yesterday and my glucose levels were "normal". Its a huge relief.

James was miserable yesterday, according to Tia Kristina. She said he had a fussy day, with lots of crying. I could tell that she pulled out every trick in the book- teething rings, the mesh feeder, the baby toothbrush, pacifiers, and his vibrating teether. I felt bad that Kristina had to be there for all that, but she loves Baby James and was more upset that he was in obvious discomfort/pain.

New pictures in Baby Album. "May". Please note that if you would like to save any pictures from before May, you should do so soon. I will have to start this babysite over from scratch soon because the site is almost "full" and the pictures will disappear in the next few weeks. I'm going to buy the CD that this babysite offers to keep all the pictures, journal entries, etc.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May Day

James had his second feeding of peas, but the picture shows his first self feeding. It was a good start! He grabbed the spoon really close to the end, but he did bring it to his mouth and get peas in. It was the messiest meal he's had! I wondered why people would say that solids was messy, because James had always been pretty neat. I guess when they start participating in the meal, that's when it gets messy!

James had a bath last night and got his spiky, chicken fuzz hair back. I love when his hair is fresh and clean because its really soft and fluffy- like chicken fuzz!

I've been forgetting to mention that I weighed James a couple of days ago and he's lost weight! He weighed in at 20 1/2 pounds about a month ago, but now he's weighing 18 1/2 pounds. I don't know if this is normal for starting solids or if its because he's growing lengthwise and slimming down :) His belly is less noticeable now. I put a pair of pants on him this morning that didn't fit last month because they were too tight on the belly. Now they're okay.